Derry City manager Declan Devine sees plenty off reasons to be positive despite his side's 2-1 defeat to Shamrock Rovers at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium on Sunday evening.

Walter Figueira's first half effort had put the Candystripes in the driving seat.

However Rovers' second-half pressure eventually paid off and two goals in the space of four minutes from a Colm Horgan OG and Roberto Lopes, secured the win.

Things could have been different though as a remarkable save in the closing stages by Alan Mannus denied Ciaron Harkin before when he tipped his headers onto the crossbar.

Devine took solace in the nature of Derry’s late rally, and admitted that his side have had a baptism of fire since the restart.

"Yes, Rovers were good but so were we, we were good without the ball but we have to strive to get better," the Derry boss said.

"I think the players deserves huge credit, they’ve had a real tough week.

"Mentally, losing to Sligo was a big one for us, but our performance on Monday and our performance tonight, we’ve got to take the positives and actually believe in ourselves a wee bit more.

"If this is the benchmark in Irish football then tonight we weren’t a million miles away."

While Rovers are in the driving seat in the title race, Derry are looking over their shoulder towards the relegation battle, so it's perhaps understandable that Devine is not too concerned where the Premier Division trophy ends up.

When asked is he believed Rovers are champions elect, he replied: "I don’t care, I really don’t care. Good luck to whoever is going for the league title, all I’m concerned about is getting us up to that level.

"Whoever wins it will deserve it, we’ve got to understand that they’re a fantastic side and we’ve taken them to the death tonight but ultimately come up short."